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Tobacco Plain Packaging in Australia Dr Anthony Millgate Acting Assistant Secretary Tobacco Control Taskforce Department of Health Slide 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Tobacco Plain Packaging in Australia Dr Anthony Millgate Acting Assistant Secretary Tobacco Control Taskforce Department of Health Slide 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tobacco Plain Packaging in Australia Dr Anthony Millgate Acting Assistant Secretary Tobacco Control Taskforce Department of Health Slide 1

2 Outline  Implementation of tobacco plain packaging measure  Challenges  Evidence in support continues to grow  Recent media and claims being made by industry  What the official figures indicate Slide 2

3 Introduction of Tobacco Plain Packaging  In April 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) committed to:  Reducing the national daily smoking rate to 10% by 2018;  Halving the smoking rate among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 47%.  In 2009, the National Preventative Health Taskforce was established to examine evidence on tobacco, alcohol and obesity. Slide 3

4 Introduction of Tobacco Plain Packaging (cont’d) Extensive evidence to June 2009 in support of tobacco plain packaging. Set out in reports of the National Preventative Health Taskforce. 29 April 2010, in response to the recommendations of the National Preventative Health Taskforce, the Australian Government announced the Anti-smoking Action Package. Since 2009 the evidence base has continued to grow. Additional studies referenced in the April 2011 consultation paper on the draft tobacco plain packaging legislation. Review of the evidence by Cancer Council Victoria in May 2011 cited 24 studies in the peer-reviewed literature.

5 Anti-Smoking Action Package  Announced by Australian Government in April 2010, and included:  world first tobacco plain packaging legislation;  updated and expanded graphic health warnings;  25% increase in tobacco excise;  substantial investment in anti-smoking social marketing campaigns;  legislation to restrict internet advertising of tobacco products in Australia;  extended listing of nicotine replacement therapies and other smoking cessation supports on Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme; and  record investments (about $100 million) in support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to reduce smoking rates. Slide 4

6 Established tobacco regime in Australia These measures come on top of an established tobacco control regime.  Minimum age restrictions on the purchase and supply of tobacco products;  comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising and promotion;  retail display bans;  bans on smoking in a range of indoor and outdoor public spaces, and increasingly outdoor places where children may be exposed to environmental tobacco smoke;  extensive and continuing public education campaigns;  PBS subsidies for smoking cessation supports; and  Quitlines and other smoking cessation support services in each State and Territory. Slide 5

7 More Recent Measures  More recently, other significant measures have been introduced:  reduction in the duty free allowance for tobacco products from 250 cigarettes or 250g of cigars or tobacco products, to 50 cigarettes or 50g of cigars or tobacco products per person, from 1 September 2012;  stronger penalties for tobacco smuggling offences;  1 December 2013 – 12.5% excise increase with further three 12.5% increases on 1 September 2014, 2015, 2016; and  National Tobacco Strategy endorsed by the federal, state and territory health ministers: available at Slide 6

8 Tobacco Plain Packaging Commencement All products manufactured or packaged in Australia for domestic consumption were required to be in plain packaging. All tobacco products were required to be sold in plain packaging with new and expanded graphic health warnings. Slide 7

9 Tobacco Plain Packaging Objectives  Reduce the attractiveness and appeal of tobacco products;  increase the noticeability and effectiveness of health warnings;  reduce the ability of packaging to mislead consumers about harmful effects; and  through the achievement of these aims in the long term, as part of a comprehensive suite of tobacco control measures, contribute to efforts to reduce smoking rates. Slide 8

10 Development of Tobacco Plain Packaging Legislation  Close collaboration between Government agencies  Formal public consultation processes and targeted consultation with retailers and tobacco industry  Consultation with the industry was done in accordance with the requirements of FCTC Article 5.3  Two Parliamentary Inquiries (House of Representatives and Senate) into the draft legislation in 2011  Some changes made to draft legislation following consultation processes Slide 9

11 Tobacco plain packaging Slide 10

12 Tobacco plain packaging design Slide 11

13 Slide 12

14 Cigarillo tin Cigar tube Loose leaf tobacco pouch Plain Packaging of Non-Cigarette Tobacco Products Slide 13

15 Updated and Expanded Graphic Health Warnings  Graphic health warnings on tobacco products updated and expanded in Competition and Consumer (Tobacco) Information Standard  Took full effect from 1 December  Size of graphic health warnings increased to 75% of front of pack for cigarettes and cartons, up from 30%, with 90% warnings for the back of packs retained  Size of graphic health warnings for most other smoked tobacco products increased to 75% of both front and back of the pack  Rotated in 2 sets of 7 warnings every 12 months. Slide 14

16 Tobacco industry tactics/disputes  Tobacco industry undertook a number of actions to oppose tobacco plain packaging. Large scale campaigns against the measure TV, radio and print advertising, social media, cards inserted into cigarette packs, and thousands of postcards sent to MPs Large numbers of FOI requests for documents relating to tobacco control, plain packaging and graphic health warnings Alliance of Australian Retailers - funded by tobacco companies specifically to lobby against tobacco plain packaging during 2010 Federal election. Slide 15

17 Tobacco Plain Packaging Compliance and Enforcement  The Department of Health has responsibility for enforcing the tobacco plain packaging legislation.  Maximum penalty is AUD$340,000 for an individual and AUD$1.7 million for a company.  Inspections require a reasonable suspicion that there has been a breach of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act  Reliant on complaints and information provided to the Department.  Enforcement Committee provides direction and considers outcomes in relation to complaints.  National Measurement Institute (NMI) undertakes educational, compliance and enforcement activities on Department’s behalf. Slide 16

18 Communications activities  Extensive communications activities occurred in late  Information Kit sent to retailers and other suppliers.  Newspaper and online advertising.  Reminder letter sent to retailers in November  Letters to importers and distributors of non-standard tobacco products in early  Letter and FAQ document on shisha/molasses tobacco sent to suppliers in March Slide 17

19 Compliance and Enforcement Statistics  Relatively small number of complaints received to date.  A combined total of over 3,400 educational visits to tobacco suppliers were undertaken in and A proactive way to educate suppliers on their obligations under the legislation. Slide 18

20 Claims made by the tobacco industry in opposing implementation of tobacco plain packaging  The tobacco industry claimed that the implementation of tobacco plain packaging would: increase retail transaction times for tobacco product purchases severely impact retailers and small business increase illicit tobacco have no impact on smoking prevalence Slide 19

21 Industry Commissioned Reports and Research on Tobacco Plain Packaging  Tobacco industry continues to commission flawed reports and research. Key examples include:  London Economics report, commissioned by Philip Morris International  University of Zurich reports, also funded by Philip Morris International  KPMG report on illicit trade in Australia Slide 20

22 Recent Research on Tobacco Plain Packaging  Recent studies published in 2013 and 2014 indicate that the measure is having an effect:  Plain packs with larger health warnings increased smokers’ urgency to quit and lowered appeal of smoking  Decline in active smoking rates and personal pack display (packs clearly visible on tables) among patrons in outdoor venues, post-implementation  a 78% increase in the number of calls to the Quitline in two jurisdictions, associated with the introduction of tobacco plain packaging Slide 21

23 Recent Media Reports on Industry Claims  Recent media has claimed: that tobacco industry sales data shows that since plain packaging was introduced, tobacco sales volumes increased by 0.3% that tobacco industry sales data show that from 2008 to 2012, smoking incidence was declining at an average rate of 3.3% per year and that since plain packaging was introduced, that decline rate slowed to 1.4%. Slide 22

24 Reports Contradicted by Official Figures  ABS data shows total consumption of tobacco and cigarettes in the March quarter 2014 is the lowest ever recorded.  Tobacco clearances (including excise and customs duty) fell by 3.4% in 2013 relative to 2012 when tobacco plain packaging was introduced.  Latest data from 2013 NDSHS: smoking prevalence among those aged 14+ has fallen from 15.1% in 2010 to 12.8% in  These results highlight importance of our comprehensive tobacco control measures. Slide 23

25 Legal Challenges to Tobacco Plain Packaging  Constitutional challenges in the High Court of Australia – legislation found not to breach Constitution  Decision handed down in August 2012  Current international legal challenges:  Investor-State arbitration brought by Philip Morris Asia under the Bilateral Investment Treaty between Australia and Hong Kong; and  World Trade Organization disputes. Slide 24

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